People on the Move: The Inaugural Edition
Today, AFK Gaming is proud to launch its very first paid offering to our readers: People on the Move, a new weekly newsletter that focuses on movements within the esports and gaming industry. Our inaugural issue is free to read (and overstuffed with a lot of content about hires, exits, promotions, and job openings) but starting next week we are asking for a monthly subscription of $3 USD to help offset costs. The AFK Esports Business Insights newsletter will continue to be free to read, of course!
So why do we need your money? Let me give you the elevator pitch! This endeavor requires an incredible amount of work and energy to put together, but it also provides great value for readers willing to support it because we will save you the hassle of having to death scroll on social media, websites, PR services, and jobs boards looking for the data you want to read. In addition, as we gain more support from you it will enable us to create even more original content that gives you detailed insights on the jobs market. This is just the beginning of something amazing, so we hope you will take the journey with us!
Take the first step by signing up here!
Movers & Shakers
Romain Dijoux, who left Activision Blizzard at the end of March, has joined Humble Bundle to tackle the director of production role for its Humble Games game bundle and subscription-based games offerings. Prior to joining Humble Bundle, Dijoux spent more than 17 years at Activision Blizzard, most recently as the lead game producer on Overwatch and Overwatch 2.
Steve Kim leaves Riot Games after more than six years to join Twitch as the new director of strategy & operations - global business development. At Riot Games, Kim served in various roles, most recently leading partnership and business development efforts related to Valorant esports. Over the years, he has held leadership roles spearheading esports-related publishing and retail efforts in North America.
Noah Cooper has joined Riot Games as video production lead. He'll be focusing on the development of Valorant mobile in his new role. Cooper comes to Riot from the U.S. arm of South Korean mobile game publisher Netmarble where he spent the last three years in similar positions. Prior to that, he spent nearly two and a half years at Activision Blizzard working on promotional materials for games such as Destiny 2 and Call of Duty.
Bernard Kim has left his role as CEO of mobile game developer Zynga to join online dating juggernaut the Match Group. Kim has served as the president of the EA-owned studio for more than six years. Prior to that, he served as Senior VP of mobile publishing at EA for more than nine years, and spent nearly three years as the director of sales and channel strategy at The Walt Disney Company.
Riot Games is looking to fill multiple roles at its Los Angeles offices, including:
senior manager, publishing - MOBA esports
director of strategy, LoL esports
software engineer III, global esports - esports digital
senior internal comms manager (esports)
producer II, esports digital experiences
Sr. manager, general management - esports
esports content producer - North America
Activision Blizzard Esports is seeking a full-time lead assistant editor, original content and a web producer (contract) to handle Overwatch League, and a product marketing coordinator.
Team Liquid is seeking a video editor (remote position) to help with the organization's "growing slate of projects." It also has on-site openings at its LA offices:
senior producer, North America
senior manager, business development
graphic designer/motion graphics artist
director of photography
global sales manager
producer, League of Legends
social media producer
eFuse is seeking an IT support engineer to work out of its Columbus, Ohio, offices.
The Pokémon Company International is seeking a community specialist (streaming) to help grow "Pokémon’s streaming presence on all relevant broadcast platforms." You can see all of its job openings here.
BLAST is seeking to fill the full-time role of head of esports product, working onsite at its Copenhagen offices.
2K Games is seeking a San Francisco Bay area or LA-based candidate to fill the role of senior global marketing manager in charge of handling its WWE and NBA-related sports properties.
EA is looking to hire a lead data scientist for its studio data and insights data Science team.
People on the Move
There was an enormous amount of announcements about people in our industry getting promoted, finding new employment, or taking on new roles. What follows is a massive list of those announcements-and it’s only Wednesday as I write this!
eFuse has accepted the resignation of its Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Klein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct and other bad behavior during his time at Ohio State University.
Virtus.pro CEO Sergey Glamazda exits the organization. Virtus.pro management will eliminate the CEO position, with the club being "operated by a team of top managers from VP’s parent company ESforce Holding."
My former colleague Trent Murray leaves Sports Business Journal after four years as a staff writer and an editor covering the esports business scene.
Seth Fowler joins NRG Esports to take on the role of director of content.
Laura Bouman is no longer the workspace coordinator at Team Liquid and is looking for new opportunities.
Galaxy Racer promotes Romeo Misao to country head, India and Rohin Bhaumik to director for creator and talent, South Asia.
Former Esports Insider staff writer Kerry Waananen joins META (not the one that owns Facebook) as an account manager.
Christopher Brown has been promoted to director, global esports and events producer at The Pokémon Company International.
Toni Kaski joins Ninjas in Pyjamas to tackle the role of VP of commercial partnerships.
Taylor Chen is promoted to the role of marketing lead for League of Legends at Riot Games.
Brittany Lichty has been promoted to global brand manager at EA.
Ryan Nava leaves Monumental Sports & Entertainment to join PlayStation as senior partner marketing manager, indies.
David Huntzinger exits WME (William Morris Endeavor) to work at MrBeast's (Jimmy Donaldson) agency Night as the new head of digital.
Lucas Luz joins Tencent Games to lead esports efforts in Brazil as the new senior esports manager for the region. His first order of business will be to push Arena of Valor esports efforts.
Former Riot Games and Amazon exec Fan Shen joins Dapper Labs as VP of gaming partnerships.
Christopher Goss exits Blizzard after two months to join Apex Legends maker Respawn Entertainment as its new senior gameplay engineer.
Gregory Sherlock joins Populous as principal, design director and architect.
Yeonjun Son exits KIA Motors to join Riot Games Korea as part of the competitive operations team, with a focus on Wild Rift Champions Korea league operations.
Tomi Olulange joins Epic Games as a producer.
FaZe Clan has launched a gaming lounge and retail pop-up store called The Armory in LA and has promoted in-house designer Jared Richardson to the role of creative director of the new initiative.
Zeynep Gencaga has left her role as senior manager of business development for esports (Europe/MENA) at Riot Games to pursue other opportunities.
Teon Brooks joins Aim Lab owner Statespace as its new VP of R&D.
Molly Mason-Boule joins Riot Games as SVP, head of development studios.
Shinji Komiyama has been promoted to the role of director of country management at Riot Games Singapore.
Flerine Cruz has been promoted to the role of associate VP at esports and gaming-focused PR firm MC Brand Communications.
Upmanyu Misra joins Galaxy Racer as its new managing partner.
Anthony Kalergis has joined EA as media lead - APAC.
Mark McGinley exits Entain to lead Funfair Games as CEO.
Jake Heintz leaves Amazon to join Blizzard as its new lifecycle marketing manager.
Diana P. Gómez joins LVP (Liga de Videojuegos Profesional) as project manager.
Gaming marketing company Livewire hires Joseph Lee as its commercial director of Southeast Asia and Prasanna Iyer as head of India.
William Lee has left mobile game maker Scopely to join WB Games Boston as an executive producer.
Jaclynn Wong has joined Vancouver-based metaverse company Departure Lounge as a producer.
Adam Kalmanson has been promoted to the role of gaming growth vertical lead at TikTok.
Ramy Fawaz joins Activision Blizzard-owned studio Highmoon Studios as its newest gameplay engineer.
Sonny Burge joins Riot Games as an animator II.
David Ballard leaves Amazon Games to join Skydance Interactive as a senior-level designer.
Alexander Yokoyama joins Blizzard as its new Android game developer.
Derek Dincer joins Blizzard as a capture media artist.
Claire Du Plessis joins Roundhill Investments to take on the role of VP, growth marketing.
Arthur Yee joins Blizzard as its newest 3D animator.
Mike Butler has been promoted to the role of principal environment artist at Offworld Industries.
Phoena Pang has been promoted to the role of global product lead of gaming at Google.
Elise Holowicki joins Blizzard to take on the role of digital content producer in creative services.
Devadatta Rajadhyaksha has been appointed to the role of chief financial officer at India-based gaming venture fund Lumikai Fund.
Shuchi Kulshreshtha has been promoted to the role of brand manager at Mobile Premier League.
Georgia Nelson joins Microsoft as principal software engineer.
Jannik Hülshoff will leave Twitch later this year to lead efforts for Reddit in Germany.
Elspeth Lawson leaves Unity Technologies to join Xsolla as the new global director of experiential marketing.
Jan Jones Blackhurst joins Esports Entertainment Group's board of directors.
Philipp Roth leaves Perfect World Entertainment to join Gearbox Publishing Europe as game production manager.
Echelon Gaming founder and CEO Zachary Fox joins KERN as a strategist.
Elisabeth María López Macías has been promoted to community manager at Ubisoft UK.
Trevor Ford will join Twitter to take on the role of social media coordinator starting next week.
Aditesh Manhas joins India-based mobile developer Mayhem Studios to lead operations & esports.
Nivritinath Chavan joins Mayhem Studios as game producer & esports lead.
Blockchain and gaming technology company Catheon Gaming has appointed former Nestlé and Activision Blizzard exec Philip Earl, former Sony Interactive Entertainment exec Nainan Shah, former King Digital and Activision Blizzard exec Marcus Jacobs, former Viacom and Aristocrat exec Daniel Yang, and mobile technology and blockchain advisor Jason Hung to its board of advisors.
Did You Know?
Did you know that Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty Endowment has helped to place 100,000 military veterans in civilian jobs to date? The charity was launched in 2009 to help veterans in the U.S. and U.K. find employment in the private sector after leaving military service. Activision Blizzard said in a release this week that it hit this milestone two years ahead of its projected goal and that it plans to invest an additional $30M USD into the program over the next five years.
In Case You Missed It
Analysts are saying that billionaire Elon Musk’s $44B Twitter buyout will likely lead to layoffs as the company will need to find a way to cut costs, pay down the debt created by the purchase, and change the business from focusing on advertising to some sort of subscription-based model. The deal still requires regulatory and shareholders’ approval.
Speaking of layoffs, Robinhood–the stock trading app that was the instrument of destruction against investors who were shorting GameStop stock last year– will cut 9% of its 3.800-strong workforce.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor is expected to report that the U.S. economy added roughly 390,000 jobs in April, but more than 4.5M people left jobs in March, and employers posted 11.5M job openings during the month, according to Labor Dept. data. It’s the largest amount of job exits ever, according to LinkedIn News Editor Cate Chapman.
Want to highlight your latest hire? Looking to promote a new job opening? Want to sponsor this newsletter? Drop me a line at email@example.com with the subject line “People on the Move.”